Mozambique commits to building capacity for translating research outputs into practical uses for economic diversification.
4 December 2023: The International Centre of Insect Physiology and Ecology (icipe) (www.icipe.org), together with the Ministry of Science, Technology and Higher Education of the Republic of Mozambique, have organized a Forum to discuss implementation progress of research and innovation projects on 6-9 December 2023 in Vilankulo, Mozambique. The projects are funded by the World Bank supported Improvement of Skills Development in Mozambique (MozSkills) project through which Mozambique is contributing US$ 6 million to the Regional Scholarship and Innovation Fund (Rsif) of the Partnership for skills in Applied Sciences, Engineering and Technology (PASET) (www.paset-rsif.org). This contribution is towards training Mozambican PhD students and for research and innovation projects led by Mozambican universities and research institutions. icipe is the Regional Coordination Unit of the Rsif. The Forum will focus on measures being taken to build capacity within Mozambique for translating research outputs into practical uses for economic diversification.
Mozambique, with a population of 33 million people (2023) and GDP growth of 4.8% (2023) according to the African Development Bank, is one of the fastest growing economies in Sub Saharan Africa. Extractives and agriculture contribute the highest to the GDP of Mozambique. With its abundant natural resources, including arable land, water, energy and mineral resources, Mozambique has potential to diversify its economy. But turning this potential into reality requires, among others, a critical mass of scientifically skilled workforce in the labour market. Increasing investment in higher education produces the necessary skills and knowledge for economic diversification. So far, 0.3% of Mozambique’s GDP is spent on research and development, which is still lower than the 1% of GDP recommended by the African Union; and there are only 43 researchers (full time equivalent) per million inhabitants.
To improve its scientific skills base, research excellence and innovation, Mozambique, through the MozSkills Project, joined eight other African countries of the Rsif/PASET in 2021. The eight countries also contributing to the Rsif/PASET are Benin, Burkina Faso, Côte d’Ivoire, Ghana, Kenya, Nigeria, Rwanda, and Senegal. Rsif offers Mozambique the opportunity to train high quality PhDs through intra-Africa academic exchange and international partnerships for world-class doctoral training. It also provides a wider academic and research network through research placements at an advanced institution for exposure to cutting-edge technologies and connecting with global research networks, as well as regional integration within Africa through centers of excellence and innovation ecosystems.
The Forum brings together Mozambican project teams researchers, collaborating partners, leaders of implementing institutions (rectors / directors), keynote speakers, government officials, the World Bank and icipe, to share experiences and discuss strategies for improving capacity for translating research outputs into practical uses.
With such a commitment, Mozambique is on the right track of building strong institutions and nurturing future science leaders who will make it possible to realise its vision of a science and technology-led growth and development.